A look at some of the top NFL prospects with Georgia ties

A total of 29 players from Georgia colleges and high schools were invited to the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine, and some have had their Pro Days as the pre-draft process is in full-swing.

In addition to the Georgia and Georgia Tech players, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (Cartersville High), Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (Harrison High) and Ohio State running back Trey Sermon (Sprayberry High) headline the group of prospects for the NFL draft, which will be held April 29 through May 1 in Cleveland.

Georgia, who had 15 players take part in its Pro Day on Wednesday, had eight players invited to the combine, which was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Tech had one combine invitee, but five worked out at its Pro Day on Tuesday.

“We had four guys do Pro Day last year,” Tech coach Geoff Collins said. “Five guys do Pro Day this year. Next year, I think we’ll an even greater number with the outstanding group that we’ve got coming back this season. So, I think the turnout was great.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart knows that not all of his players will go on to have great NFL careers.

“I pride myself on the whole person more than just the whole player,” Smart said. “We’ve failed these young men if we don’t do more than just coach them in football. That’s big to me.”

Defensive end Azeez Ojulari is the Bulldogs’ top prospect. Cornerbacks Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes are projected second-round picks by NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

“(Pro Day was) about the measurements and football, but the mental side is so important to these NFL teams now,” Smart said. “So, many of them come and talk about our guys ability to communicate, and we try to force that on them when they get here so when they leave here they are prepared.”

Kent State wide receiver Isaiah McCoy, who played at Norcross High, had his Pro Day on Monday.

“Just how he is day-in and day-out,” Kent State coach Sean Lewis said when ask what NFL teams wanted to know about McCoy. “What sort of person that they are going to be bringing into their organization. The way that he works. His mental toughness. His physical toughness. Those type of things.”

McCoy has had several virtual meetings with NFL teams.

“They just want to know what type of person that I am,” McCoy said. “Who I hang around. My hobbies and stuff like that. Honestly, it’s just a man-to-man conversation to let them know what I do on a day-to-day basis outside of football.”

Here’s a look at the prospects with Georgia ties who were invited to the NFL scouting combine:

Rashod Bateman, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, WR, Tift Co. HS (Minnesota): He caught at least one pass in all 31 games (fifth in school history) he played in and made 147 receptions (sixth in school history) for 2,395 yards (sixth in school history) and 19 touchdowns (fifth in school history).

Shakur Brown, 5-11, 190, CB, Woodland HS (Michigan State): He played in 26 games with 12 starts (five at cornerback in 2019; two at nickel back and five at cornerback in 2020). He had seven interceptions, nine pass break-ups, 54 tackles and two sacks. He finished his career ranked eighth in Michigan State history with 186 interception return yards. He declared for the draft Dec. 14.

Tyson Campbell, 6-1,193, CB, Georgia: He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 and 4.39 seconds at Georgia’s Pro Day.

Michael Carter, 5-11, 190 CB, South Paulding HS (Duke): In 46 career games (36 starts), Carter had 135 tackles, 7.5 tackles for losses, four interceptions and 24 pass breakups. He was third-team All-ACC last season. He played 2,581 career snaps for the Blue Devils.

Tory Carter, 6-0, 244, FB/TE, Lee Co. HS (LSU): A powerful lead blocker, he played in 35 games and made five starts. He scored two touchdowns on receptions.

Ben Cleveland, 6-6 3/8, 354, G, Stephens Co. HS (Georgia): He came up short in his quest to break the the NFL’s all-time bench-press record of 49 repetitions of 225 pounds. He had 30 lifts, but ran the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds. “It’s just hard to find size, and he meets all of that criteria,” Smart said. “He’s hard to move and get around. It’s a passing league. So, when he pass (protects), he’s a hard man to get past. I’m excited to see what he does.”

DJ Daniel, 6-1, 185 CB, Spalding HS (Georgia): He played in eight regular-season games and finished with nine tackles, one for lost yardage, and one pass breakup. “I feel like I’m one of the best man-to-man press coverage (cornerbacks),” Daniel said. “I feel like there is no corner in this draft (who) is better than me man-to-man.”

Jamin Davis, 6-4, 234, ILB, Long Co. HS (Kentucky): He played in 36 games and made 11 starts. He made 144 tackles, five tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks and five interceptions.

Justin Fields, 6-3, 228, QB, Harrison HS (Ohio State): Considered a top-10 selection in the draft. He started his career at Georgia before transferring to Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to the championship last season. In 2019, he had one of the greatest statistical seasons in the history of Ohio State football as a first-year starter when he completed 67.2% of his passes for 3,273 yards while accounting for 51 touchdowns (41 passing, 10 rushing).

Pressley Harvin, 6-0, 255, P, Georgia Tech: Harvin was the first former Tech player to receive a combine invite since kicker Harrison Butker in 2017. In December, Harvin became Tech’s third unanimous All-American, following Ken Swilling and Calvin Johnson, after leading FBS in punting with a 48.0 yards-per-punt average. The average set school and ACC single-season records.

Malik Herring, 6-3, 280, DE, Mary Persons HS (Georgia): He started eight of 10 games and finished with 20 tackles and 24 total QB pressures.

Trey Hill, 6-4, 330, C, Houston Co. HS (Georgia): He started in eight games while playing 95 percent of the Bulldogs’ offensive snaps in those games.

Jaycee Horn, 6-1, 205, CB, Alpharetta HS (South Carolina): The son of former Saints and Falcons wide receiver Joe Horn.

Ernest Jones, 6-2, 230, LB, Ware Co. HS (South Carolina): He was elected a team captain and played middle linebacker. He started each of the first nine games and missed the final game with an ankle injury. He had four games with at least 11 tackles.

Trevor Lawrence QB, Cartersville HS (Clemson): He led the Tigers to a national championship as a freshman in 2018. He finished his career with a 34-2 record and is considered the consensus projected No. 1 pick in the coming draft. He completed 758 of 1,138 career passes (66.6%) for 10,098 yards with 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for a pass efficiency rating for 164.26 in 2,237 snaps over 40 career games (36 starts).

Richard LeCounte, 5-11, 190, S, Liberty Co. HS (Georgia): He was in a near-fatal motorcycle accident Oct. 31 that left him in ICU for three days. He has a lingering foot injury, which explains his slow 40-yard dash times of 4.76 and 4.82.

Tre’ McKitty, 6-5, 245, TE, Georgia: He transferred from Florida State and caught six catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. He played for the American team in the Senior Bowl game and caught a pass for 14 yards.

Isaiah McKoy, WR, Norcross HS (Kent State): He was named third-team All-MAC in 2019 and was on the first team in 2020. He led the Golden Flashes in receptions, yards and touchdowns in each of the past two seasons. McKoy’s specialty was making big plays, like the 78-yard touchdown catch in the 51-41 win over Utah State in the Frisco Bowl in 2019. McKoy led the Mid-American Conference in yards per catch (15.6) in 2019 and finished third in the conference in 2020 (18.1). Overall, he finished his career with 124 catches for 1,848 yards and 16 touchdowns. He ranks sixth all-time in receptions, fifth all-time in yards and second all-time in touchdown receptions in Kent State history.

Davis Mills, 6-4, 225, QB, Greater Atlanta Christian (Stanford): He completed 287 of 438 passes for 3,468 yards and 18 touchdowns

Azeez Ojulari, 6-21/4, 249, OLB, Marietta HS (Georgia): He ran 40-yard dash in 4.60 and 4.63 seconds. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 28 times. Ojulari had 14.5 sacks the past two seasons.

Monty Rice, 6-1, 235, ILB, Georgia: He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 and 4.59 seconds and really shined in position drills. He was one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s top linebacker. He was selected All-SEC first-team by the Associated Press. “He’s a kid that committed to LSU on TV or whatever his announcement and called us 15 minutes afterwards said, ‘Coach, I made a mistake. I want to be at Georgia. I want to be there. I want to be a Bulldog,‘” Smart said. “It meant a lot to us to get him. He pushed through injuries this year. I never had a guy that practices as hard as Monty does.”

Cam Sample, DE, Shiloh HS (Tulane): An overlooked recruit out of high school, Sample has exceeded expectations as a former two-star recruit. In college, he added nearly 40 pounds of good weight and played just about every position on the defensive front.

Trey Sermon, 6-1, 215, RB, Sprayberry HS (Ohio State): A bruising runner. He joined Ohio State in the spring of 2020 as a graduate transfer from Oklahoma.

D’Ante Smith, 6-5, 297, OT, Grovetown HS (East Carolina): Played both guard and tackle early in his career before blossoming into a starter.

Jordan Smith, 6-7, 255, OLB, Lithonia HS (Alabama-Birmingham): He was a first-team All-Conference USA selection and received an invitation to the Senior Bowl. He made 43 tackles and had 9.5 tackles for losses last season.

Eric Stokes, 6-0, 194, CB, Eastside HS (Georgia): He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.28 and 4.32 seconds at UGA’s Pro Day on Wednesday. He had a 38½-inch vertical jump and cleared 10 feet in the broad jump,

Tamorrion Terry, 6-4, 210, WR, Turner Co. HS (Florida State): He made 118 receptions for 2,221 yards and 18 touchdowns. His yards total ranked 10th in program history and his touchdowns total tied for 13th on FSU’s all-time list.

Tommy Tremble, 6-4, 248, TE, Wesleyan (Notre Dame): He was an All-ACC honorable-mention selection last season.

Mark Webb, 6-1, 200 CB, Georgia: He played in eight of 10 games, including three starts. He made 21 tackles, including a career-high nine against Mississippi State. He played for the American team in the annual Senior Bowl game and made five tackles.

Falcons’ 2021 draft position: Here are the picks in D. Led’s Mock Draft 2.0: Top five picks

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson)

2. New York Jets: Justin Fields, (QB, Ohio State)

3. Miami Dolphins: Ja’Marr Chase (WR, LSU)

4. Falcons: Kyle Pitts (TE, Florida)

5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, (OT, Oregon)

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